How To Prepare for Retirement

person putting coin in a piggy bank

When you think about how to prepare for retirement, you should know that the earlier you plan and save, the better. Due to compound interest and tax deferrals, you will benefit more the earlier you start saving for retirement. You may be wondering how to prepare for retirement in your 30s or generally how to save money in retirement

Do you know how much you need to save for retirement? How can you maximize your savings?

confident senior businessman holding money in hands while sitting at table near laptop
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on

Prepare for retirement checklist:

Think about the kind of retirement you want

This visualization will help you understand how much money should be saved for retirement. Will you want to live differently when you retire? Start visualizing the type of lifestyle you want to live when you retire so you can tailor your savings goals to that lifestyle!

  • At what age would you want to be when you retire?

  • Will you still work part-time?

  • Where will you live? Do you want to live domestically or internationally?

  • Will you be renting a house, or will you own your house?

  • What will your monthly costs be?

Start saving today

Most (if not all) how to prepare for retirement articles you read will encourage you to start saving today. The reason being is over time you can earn money from your savings via compound interest.

  • Compound interest is the interest you earn on interest. It comes from reinvesting the interest you earn. It works in your favor.

  • Hypothetical examples suggest that even a 25-year-old who invests $75 per month would accumulate more assets by 65-years-old compared to a 35-year-old who invests $100 per month.

  • Put as much as you can away now so that you can reap the rewards later.

  • Some financial experts recommend saving 15% of your pre-tax income towards tax-advantage accounts.

Set a goal

Take time to carefully consider retirement expenses while factoring in inflation. Will you have other expenses that you might not have right now (such as children’s expenses)?

  • How much do you want to have when you retire?

  • Will you be traveling when you retire?

Automate your savings to a retirement plan

Take advantage of tax deferrals to a retirement account. Set up automatic payments to your Individual Retirement Account (IRA) or 401(k). This way, the money gets deposited into your retirement savings plan before you have to think about it.

  • 401(k)s have a high contribution limit ($19,500 if under age 50), and sometimes employers are willing to match your contributions. Check with your employer to see if they match what you put in.

  • If you are under 50, you can contribute up to $6,000 to an IRA. If you are 50 or older, you can contribute up to $7,000 to an IRA.

  • Money contributed to a Traditional IRA may be deductible on your taxes that year. Then, when you withdraw money from that account in retirement, you pay taxes then.

  • Money contributed to Roth IRAs are not deductible on your taxes that year. However, withdrawals you make from that account when in retirement are not taxed.

Diversify your savings when thinking about how to prepare for retirement

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket! Your IRA is just one piece of the puzzle. Consider investing in other assets, such as property, mutual funds, or bonds. These investments also help you save money in retirement.

Take advantage of employer matching

If your employer matches your IRA investments, take advantage of that! Deposit the maximum amount that your employer matches.

Continue to reduce your debt

Pay off your credit cards every month or pay as much as possible towards your credit card debt. When possible, accelerate your mortgage payments. As a rule of thumb, reduce your existing debt and avoid accumulating new debt.

Saving for your ideal lifestyle when you retire is a marathon, not a sprint

When you build your wealth over time, you don’t have to worry about tackling everything all at once.

Remember that over time, your retirement account will build! Try to save at least 10-15% of your pretax income to start. You’re already ahead of the game by thinking about this now!

Making Money in Your Spare Time

man in black suit jacket sitting beside table with macbook pro

Even if you have a good job, you may not have enough to pay all of your bills and still have money left over. There’s a way around that, though. You can look into making money in your spare time.

You don’t need to dedicate all your leisure time to making money in your spare time, either. Just a few hours a week would be enough. You could use your evenings after dinner or a day on the weekend. It’s not about getting rich or replacing your day job – it’s just about having a little extra. Even fifty or a hundred dollars a week might make the difference between paying a bill or not.

food wood arm love
Photo by Andre Taissin on

Where Do Your Talents Lie?

Everyone is good at something. Even if you aren’t sure what kinds of talents you have, think about what you like to do. Do people compliment you on your singing voice? Your cooking? Your handy work? The compassion that you have for children or the elderly? You have the potential to make money from your passions, interests, and skills! It’s not as hard as a lot of people make it out to be.

What kinds of hobbies do you have? Do you write? Take pictures? Paint or draw? Can you teach or tutor others? Are you handy? Make a list of what you’re good at and what you enjoy doing sometimes, these aren’t the same things.

Choose an activity from your list and then try these strategies when thinking about making money in your spare time:

  • Advertise your services in the newspaper so you can find people who need help.
  • Post your information on Craigslist and other ad sites where people hire others.
  • Start a website or blog where you can offer your talents and services.
  • Network with others who do the same things, so you can get ideas and advice.
  • Attend community events and hand out business cards.
  • Create a portfolio of your work and start showing it to others.

You never know when you might be able to make a connection that leads to something great. If you’re not prepared, that chance could slip away. Rather than wait for that moment, be ready in advance.

Start preparing now, knowing that making money in your spare time could take a little while. It may not happen overnight, but it will happen when you remain committed to it.

Yes, Attitude Does Matter

Remember that how you act can make a huge difference in whether someone hires you to do something. Even if you’re the best in the business, a bad attitude won’t get you very far. Stay positive, even when you get turned down for work.

Keep your head up and continue to improve. When people see that you’re committed to making money in your spare time and you’re actively looking for work, you’ll find people who will buy from you or hire you to do something.

A quick tip: Get letters of reference from people who hire you and use them in your portfolio to show future customers.

Word of mouth is also vital, so do your best job every time. If you make a mistake, admit it, and then work to make it right. People appreciate honesty, and you’ll get more work from those who see that you’re a quality person with the right mindset. These attributes can actually help you go farther than the actual level of talent you have.

So let your talents inspire you, rev up your can-do attitude, and you may be surprised how easy it really is to bring in some extra money in your spare time!

Financial Detox for Financial Security

person holding black desk calculator

Do you often wonder where all your money went at the end of a pay period? Are you living from paycheck to paycheck? Is your wife spending out of control? Or maybe is it you who is spending out of control?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, a financial detox for financial security might be just what you need to get your financial life back on track

bitcoins and u s dollar bills
Photo by David McBee on

A detoxification process doesn’t just apply to your body. It can apply to your finances as well. Detoxification is a good word for the process, as the discomfort and challenges of spending withdrawal can feel quite real, just like physical detoxification.

However, in the end, you’ll experience the relief of being able to live within your means and the joy that comes with financial security.

What is Financial Security?

The peace of mind you feel when your income is enough to cover expenses is having financial security. When someone feels secure, it leaves them with more energy to focus on other issues like family or work-related stressors which can lead to a happier life overall!

Are you ready to give this financial detox for financial security a try?

Follow these steps for your best results:

Locate the cause(s) of your financial challenges:

The first step is to go over your bills and bank statements carefully. If you see something you don’t recognize, mark it and investigate it.

  • This is especially true for any online purchases. There should be a phone number you can call. Call them to get the details of the charges.
  • It’s worthwhile to pay special attention to your phone bill. They always seem to be adding new fees. Look at you bank fees, too. They are another group that likes to find new ways to nickel and dime you to death.

Admit the truth about the current state of your financial security.

You probably already know where your spending weaknesses lie. If you didn’t before, you should recognize them now.

  • Look over your spending and search for areas where you’re being wasteful.

Are you spending $100 a month on your morning coffee? Going out to eat five nights a week? Buying too many magazines at the checkout? Too many beauty treatments each month? Maybe one too many beers with the guys? Admit the truth.

Ask yourself ‘why?’

Why do you think you’ve been spending money unnecessarily? Are you bored? Are you sad? Do you simply want more than your income can support?

  • One big challenge in life is dealing appropriately with feelings of anxiety, boredom, and sadness. Some people overeat. Some overspend. Others find other outlets.
  • What are some alternatives that don’t have negative consequences? Wouldn’t it be great to be ‘addicted’ to exercising instead of spending?
  • Think of some other habits you can develop that you might enjoy doing. Going for a walk might make you feel better when you’re stressed. Walking is free and good for you, too.

Start the detox. There are several ways you could go about your financial detox for financial security:

  • Go cold turkey. Simply decide to eliminate all the unnecessary expenses from your life, starting right now. This is tough but doable. You’ll have to be strong.
  • Eliminate a few expenses. Maybe you’ll skip the weekly massages and stop buying lunch every day. You’ll keep some of your optional expenses but eliminate others.
  • Cut back on everything, but don’t eliminate it. Maybe you’ll decide to cut all your discretionary spending in half. This way you still get to do everything, only not as much.

Take steps to make it permanent

If you’re going to take away your spending habit, raise your odds of success by replacing it with something else you enjoy.

  • Evaluate your spending and a general sense of well-being every month. How are you doing? If you’re having spending withdrawals, you might need a different substitute. However, like being on a diet, it’s never totally without its challenges.

A spending detox for financial security might be just what you need to get your spending under control and help to guarantee a positive financial future. Try these tips today. Be strong. Change is challenging, but you can do it!

How you can benefit from Mid-Cap Stocks

turned on monitor displaying frequency graph

The definition of mid cap stocks are stocks for those companies with a market capitalization between $2 billion and $10 billion. Usually, these well-established companies fall somewhere between the slower-growing large-caps and the rapidly growing small-caps.

Recently, mid-cap stocks have done better than both the large-cap and small-cap competition with very little added risk.

We’re going to examine what is mid cap stocks. We will as well analyze them and why you should strongly consider these often ignored stocks for beginners to invest in.

person holding mug and mobile phone
Photo by Anna Nekrashevich on

What is mid cap Stocks and Why They Should be Part of Your Portfolio

The better historical performance isn’t the only reason you might want to consider mid-caps as part of your portfolio. Several additional characteristics are valuable as well:

  • The majority of mid-caps are simply small-caps that grew bigger over time. Additional growth will give them the opportunity to eventually become large-cap businesses.

  • Part of expanding is the ability to obtain additional financing to support that growth. This is much more difficult for small-cap companies to do.

  • The principal advantage over large-caps relates to earnings growth. Mid-cap companies haven’t yet reached the stage where earnings diminish and dividends have become a significant part of a stock’s total return.

  • Maybe the most overlooked reason for investing money in mid-caps is that they get less analyst coverage than the large-caps. Many of the greatest performing stocks have been ignored businesses that suddenly became popular, generating the institutional purchasers that are essential to push their price higher.

In the end, investing in mid cap stocks makes sense because they provide investors the best of both worlds: small-cap growth along with large-cap stability.

Trading in stocks for beginners: All About Profitability

One of the great things about mid-cap stocks is that the businesses are generally profitable and have been for quite awhile. This makes mid cap stocks perfect stocks for beginners to invest in.

Consider these advantages:

  • Mid-cap companies usually have experienced management teams.

  • On the average, a mid-cap’s earnings tend to grow at a quicker rate than the average small-cap and accomplish this with less volatility and risk.

  • Along with earnings growth, the mid-cap company is in a good position to maintain their earnings for the foreseeable future. That’s what ultimately turns a mid-cap into a large-cap.

  • Clues that suggest a corporation’s earnings are headed in the right direction include growing gross and operating margins in combination with lower inventories and accounts receivable. Turning inventory and receivables faster usually leads to greater cash flow and increased profits.

All of these features also help reduce risk. Mid-caps tend to have these attributes more frequently than small or large-caps.

When Pondering on What is mid cap Stocks Think Growth

Revenue and earnings growth are two of the most important factors to long-term returns.

Recently, mid-cap stocks have done better than both large-cap and small-cap stocks due to their higher growth in both revenue and earnings. It’s likely that the ability of mid-caps to respond faster than large-caps, and their greater financial stability compared to small-caps, are their greatest advantages.

airport bank board business
Photo by Pixabay on

When researching a mid-cap firm, look into the quality of their revenue growth:

  • When gross margins, operating margins, and revenues are all increasing, it’s an excellent indicator that the company is developing greater economies of scale, resulting in higher shareholder profits.

  • Another great indicator of healthy revenue growth is when lowered total debt improves cash flow.

A pro tip for trading in stocks for beginners is to consider adding mid-cap stocks to your portfolio. There’s a lot to like about them. The great opportunities for both profitability and growth, along with the relatively low risk, can make them an excellent addition. Do some research and find a couple of good mid-caps; you’ll be glad you did.

A Guide to Purchasing a Condo

white concrete building under sunny blue sky

A condo looks like an apartment. In fact, many condo buildings were originally just regular apartments that someone converted into condominiums. However, condominiums are also like houses from the standpoint of ownership.

Buying a condo is a good investment. But who owns the yard near a condo? Who pays for repairs? What are condo fees and what do you get in return for those fees.

Let’s go over the steps to purchasing a condo.

Keep these steps in mind when purchasing a home, like a condo in NYC:

Some parts of a condo are owned privately, while others are owned collectively with the other residents.

The space inside the living space’s interior walls would be privately owned. Generally, the rest of the building and the other property is owned collectively. In most situations, you don’t own your walls.

Purchasing a condo is no different than searching for a house.

You can search on your own or enlist the services of a real estate agent.

Besides a sales contract, there’s also an agreement or declaration.

This agreement spells out how the condo is run and how the monies are spent. Read the condo agreement and talk to your potential neighbors.

  • You’ll probably want to know how much money is in the condo’s reserve fund.
  • How are requests and complaints handled within the community?
  • Are there any requirements that would make you unhappy?
  • Are the buildings and grounds well-maintained?

A condo can be much less expensive than purchasing a home in the same area.

The more affordable price makes this type of property especially attractive in areas with high real estate prices. But the price isn’t the only expense.

  • You’ll need to pay property taxes, just as with a house. The taxes are based on your living space, as well as your percentage of ownership in all the other areas of the complex.

  • There’s also a monthly fee to keep up the common areas. This includes the building, parking lot, landscaping, and grounds. These fees can be quite expensive, depending on the location of the condo. An outside property manager is usually hired to manage the condo community.

  • If the reserve fund is running low, an assessment can be charged to all the owners to cover the cost of any projects that would run over the amount in the reserve fund.

Pay particular attention to the parking, security, and common areas.

These are some of the big differences between a condominium and a house. Some communities have assigned parking spaces, while others have a first-come-first-serve policy. Some even have garages for parking.

  • Is the community gated? Any security system? Is your front door exposed to the outside, or is there a lobby area that’s entered first?
  • What about a pool, tennis court, exercise room, pond, fountain, or other amenity that you really want? If you aren’t interested in those things, are you willing to pay the extra expense to have them anyway?

Mortgages for condominiums have stricter standards.

The down payment requirements for a condo are typically higher.

  • Also, the condo community must meet certain requirements before a bank can legally make a loan there.
  • For example, at least 50% of the units must be owner-occupied. Not more than 15% of the owners can be behind on their dues.
  • There are several other requirements as well, so remember to look at all aspects of condo ownership before making a final decision.

A condo can be a great option for someone who is purchasing a home, but either can’t afford a house or doesn’t want the hassle of maintaining a yard and dealing with all the maintenance issues.

Just be aware of the differences and shop carefully. Pay attention to those fees and shop around to get the amenities you want.